A group of diverse professionals talking and laughing with each other

Dr John Yu Fellowship

Accelerate your career as a culturally diverse leader
A first of its kind program in Australia, the Dr John Yu Fellowship brings together Australia’s multicultural leaders to explore the influences, impact and opportunities of diverse leadership.

As a leader, you bring a raft of strengths, perspectives, and capabilities that have been shaped by your lived experiences. This program harnesses those experiences to shape your authentic leadership style and leverage your influence.

Over three days, you will come together with a cohort of culturally diverse leaders from business, government and the not-for-profit sector to explore all facets of leadership. You will learn transformative leadership skills, discuss burning issues, challenges and opportunities, share experiences and understand how cultural diversity can influence and shape your leadership journey.

This unique program has been designed in response to the growing need for targeted leadership development for high-potential leaders from multicultural backgrounds.

According to 2018 research by The University of Sydney and the Australian Human Rights Commission, 24% of the Australian population has neither European nor Indigenous background, yet only 5% of senior leaders in business, government and higher education identify in this category.

Next course date Wednesday 11 December - Friday 13 December 2024
Location The University of Sydney Business School
Sydney CBD Campus
Level 17, 133 Castlereagh St
Sydney NSW 2000
Cost $6,000 ex GST

Key benefits

Led by Australia’s former Race Discrimination Commissioner and noted academic, Professor Tim Soutphommasane, you will work with a diverse and dynamic group of leaders to:  

  • Explore cross-cultural team leadership
  • Harness your lived experience to shape your personal leadership style
  • Challenge traditional thinking and explore best practices in diversity and inclusion
  • Unlock the opportunities of culturally diverse leadership
  • Discuss and share personal experiences on how culture shapes the leadership journey
  • Develop strategies for building influence and setting the agenda
  • Discover techniques and tools for negotiating and responding to diversity challenges in the public arena
  • Learn how to manage challenging conversations
  • Harness reflective and innovative learning modes to embed learning and mindset shifts
  • Build an influential network of diverse leaders from all spheres of the business world.

Organisations will benefit from investing in truly diverse and inclusive leadership, offering high-achieving multicultural leaders access to a highly transformational, contemporary and contextualised leadership development experience.

Who should attend? 

This fellowship is designed for high-achieving and high-potential leaders with:

  • At least 15 years of work experience
  • A culturally diverse background and/or an interest in growing cultural diversity in Australia’s leadership.

Previous participants have come from a wide range of organisations and sectors including:

  • Banking, Insurance and Finance, including ANZ, CBA, Charted Accountants ANZ, iCare, Westpac
  • Consulting, including Deloitte, KPMG
  • Federal Government, including Attorney General’s Dept, Dept of Foreign Affairs, Dept of Planning and Environment,  Reserve Bank of Australia.
  • Legal, including. Baker Mackenzie, Clayton Utz, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, Herbert Smith Freehills, King and Wood Mallesons, Minter Ellison.
  • Media, including ABC, Network 10.
  • Mining and Construction, including BHP, Laing O’Rourke
  • Not for Profit, including Multicultural Australia, Refugee Council of Australia
  • NSW Government, including Dept of Education, Dept of Communities and Justice, Upper House, Police, Transport
“The John Yu Fellowship gave me an opportunity to be inspired by world-class speakers and learn from accomplished peers in different industries in a condensed, effective way. I came out of the experience with a better understanding of myself, the society that we fight to better, and a keener grasp of how to think and speak productively about diversity, equity and inclusion.”
Yeesum Lo, Head of Development at Network 10 ViacomCBS

Program Directors

Professor Tim Soutphommasane

Tim Soutphommasane is Professor of Practice (Sociology and Political Theory). He is a political theorist and human rights advocate.

From 2013 to 2018, Tim was Australia's Race Discrimination Commissioner. His thinking on patriotism, multiculturalism and national identity has been influential in debates in Australia and Britain.

Professor Clinton Free

Image of Clinton Free

Professor Clinton Free was appointed Academic Director of Executive Education and Global Executive MBA Program Director at the University of Sydney Business School in 2019.

He brings a wealth of international experience to the role, previously teaching MBA programs at Oxford University, Cornell University and the Queen’s School of Business.

Dr John Yu

The fellowship is named after prominent paediatrician Dr John Yu AC. An alumnus of the University of Sydney, Dr Yu was born in Nanking in China and came to Australia when he was three years old.

He has spent his working life dedicated to improving health outcomes for children. One significant achievement - among many - was his leadership in the planning and building of the Children's Hospital at Westmead in NSW, a world's best practice facility that combined art, design and the best medical care for children.

His commitment to our community extends beyond health and into the arts, community and education sectors too. From 2000 to 2005 he served as Chancellor of UNSW and has served on the Board of Trustees of the Art Gallery of NSW as well as the Chair of the Australia-China Council. In 1996, Dr Yu received the Australian of the Year award.